Select AG: Car data by IoT to Independent Garage

23.08.2021 by Annalena Rauen

Garage employee carrying out a service

SELECT AG is one of the leading actors in Germany’s independent aftermarket. Purchasing cooperation based on an IoT solution enables independent garages to be supplied with vehicle data and makes them more competitive.

Replacing the oil filter, changing tires, renewing worn-out brake linings or carrying out the annual inspection, garages perform a wide range of tasks. Yet cars only relay information about service requirements and breakdowns to auto manufacturers and authorized workshops. That puts independent garages at a clear disadvantage that auto parts wholesaler Select AG’s Cloud IoT solution could now eliminate.

SIM Cards for Predictive Maintenance

Since an automatic emergency call system was made mandatory in 2018 for all cars in Germany, auto manufacturers and their authorized workshops have received all vehicle condition data automatically via obligatory SIM cards installed in cars. That enables garages to contact their customers directly and inform them about upcoming repairs. “With around 45 million vehicles on German roads,” says Daniel Trost, Chief Digital Officer at Select AG, “that is an enormous earnings potential.” Until now, however, this data has been the exclusive preserve of the auto manufacturers, and Germany’s 21,000-plus independent garages have had no access to it. Seeing that as a competitive disadvantage in the German independent aftermarket, Select AG sought a solution.

Connected Vehicles Benefit Independent Garages and Motorists

For independent garages access to in-vehicle data is a prerequisite for offering existing and potential customers digital services such as predictive maintenance when, for example, the original guarantee has expired and motorists might like to switch to a garage of their choice. Subject to the motorist’s consent the auto parts wholesaler Select AG wants not only to collect and process this data and make it available to independent garages and its customers. To offer the highest possible security for data transfer and processing, the vehicle garages use a Mobile IP-VPN. In a secure network, the data is transmitted in encrypted form and only authorized users can access it. This also contributes to the requirements of the EU DSGVO. It also sees that as a great opportunity to bind drivers more strongly to independent garages. That, according to a Bitkom survey, is exactly what motorists want from service providers such as garages. When buying a car 77 percent of Germans attach increasing importance to digital services based on vehicle data.

Connected Car – The Functions

  • Data Transfer: The connected car relays data to companies, auto manufacturers, an authorized workshop or other vehicles by means of connected car technologies
  • Vehicle Condition Data: The connected car transmits information about mileage, tire pressure, brake wear, liquid and fuel levels and service requirements for preventive or predictive maintenance
  • Real-time Data for the Navigation System: Data received includes traffic reports, points of interest, parking opportunities, the nearest charging points and filling stations and the vehicle’s current parking location
  • Vehicle Data: Software in the connected car provides information about estimated journey time, speed, fuel consumption and distance traveled
  • The car reports accidents and has an emergency call system
  • Driver-related Data: The connected car stores data about driver behavior, temperature and seat settings, the media used and the tools available in the car

Internet of Things Improves Customer Retention

By the year’s end SELECT AG will connect the first vehicles by OBD2 adapters and SIM cards or via connected car solutions and analyze the collected data on the new IoT platform. This solution enables independent garages to approach customers in a more targeted way, to strengthen customer loyalty and to offer a better, faster service. Cars and drivers benefit from predictive maintenance, especially as the spare parts required will always be available in time on-site to reduce downtimes. More efficient and less expensive logistics routes are a further advantage of the IoT solution from the cloud. And analyses by artificial intelligence will give garages and workshops a clearer idea of when to order which spare parts. The cloud solution will save both independent garages and logistics providers labor, time and money.

Application From the Cloud as a Second Interface With the Driver

Along with the IoT platform there will, in the next step, be an app in the Azure Cloud. The mobile app will, for example, store vehicle histories. Technicians can then communicate better and more efficiently with drivers. Images of the vehicle’s condition can be shared swiftly and simply and appointments can be agreed by smartphone.


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Annalena Rauen
Annalena Rauen

Marketing Manager IoT

Back in 2016, Anna worked on IoT topics at Deutsche Telekom for the first time. Since then, she has been supporting customer best practices in a wide range of industries – always focusing on the benefits that the Internet of Things can provide. Her IoT blogposts describe real use cases and the value these innovations add to market players, their business models, and even entire industries.